Aug 28 America's 50 state governments owe $4.19
trillion, including outstanding bonds, unfunded pension
commitments and budget gaps, according to a new report.
At $617.6 billion, California had by far the biggest total
debt, more than twice the total of No. 2, New York, with $300.1
billion owed, according to State Budget Solutions, a research
and non-partisan advocacy group.
Texas, with $287 billion owed, New Jersey, with $282.4
billion, and Illinois, with $271.1 billion, ranked next among
states with the biggest total debt, according to State Budget
Solutions. Vermont had the smallest debt load at $5.85 billion.
The annual study said state governments had benefited in the
last year from smaller budget gaps and reductions in loans taken
from the federal government during the worst of the Great
Recession to pay unemployment claims.
Those trends helped reduce total debt, which includes
medical insurance due retired government workers, from last
year's $4.24 trillion of total debts owed by the 50 states,
according to State Budget Solutions.
"Our states are in trouble and no amount of budget gimmicks,
political posturing or hiding bills will fix the massive debt
that they face," said Bob Williams, president of State Budget
Solutions. "Drastic reforms, innovations and political courage
are needed to put our states back on the road to fiscal